City of Texarkana, Texas Animal Services Ordinance Synopsis
This synopsis is meant to provide the reader information concerning some of the most significant changes in the City's animal control ordinances. It is not intended to be representative of entire scope of the ordinance or even all changes. The purpose is to address the topics which are new to the previous ordinance and/or have created most public interest. For further information, contact the City of Texarkana, Texas Animal Services (903) 798-3971. To view the entire Animal Ordinance click here (.pdf)
Vaccination (Rabies). Any dog older than 3 months. Administered by licensed veterinarian. No self-administered rabies vaccinations. Certificate provided at registration. Section 4-3.
Registration. The owner of a dog, cat, or ferret shall, at no cost, register the animal with the city in conjunction with the animal's rabies schedule, either one (1) year or three (3) year. Section 4-3.
Discount toward spay, neutering, and electronic chips.City will provide a discount to have an animal that is registered with the City spayed, neutered, and/or microchip implanted. Section 4-3.
Number of common household pets allowed. Unlawful for any person to keep more than 5 common household pets (dogs, cats, birds, ferrets, rabbits, gerbils, etc.) over 4 months in age in any combination of species. Section 4-5.
Confinement of dogs and running at large. A dog or dogs shall at all times be confined within a building or a fenced area that is at least 150 square feet (150 SF) in size per dog over four (4) months of age and of sufficient strength and construction to confine the dog or keep the dog from running at large, unless on a leash and controlled by a person physically capable of controlling the dog. An electronic (invisible) fence shall not be considered a fence in compliance with this ordinance. Section 4-6.
Restraint; tethering or chaining of dogs. Unlawful to tether or chain a dog unless the person is holding the tether or chain. Unlawful to wrap a tether or chain directly around a dog's neck, even if the person is holding the tether or chain. Does not apply to temporary, owner supervised, restraint required to protect the safety of the person or dog; or during a lawful animal event, such as walking on a leash, cleaning a dog pen, veterinary treatment, grooming, training, or law enforcement activity. Tethers must be attached to a collar or harness, and be unlikely to become entangled. Section 4-7.
Guard dogs. All guard dogs must be registered annually with the animal control officer prior to use as a guard dog. The city registration tag for a guard dog shall be attached to the collar or harness and worn at all times. Section 4-8.
Impounding and redemption of animal. Change from 5 days to 3 days to comply with state law. If animal has a current rabies certificate or City Registration, it will be held for 7 days.Section 4-10.
Adoption of dogs and cats - Spaying and neutering. All animals adopted from the city operated shelter or a city partner must be spayed or neutered within 30 days of adoption or when the animal reaches 3 months of age. Adoption may be refused on grounds of not having proper facilities to contain or care for the animal, use of animal for resale, reasonable grounds to believe the animal would be subjected to abandonment or cruelty. Section 4-12
Livestock and fowl. Unlawful for any person to own, keep, or harbor any livestock or fowl within the city limits except on property defined as a farm or ranch pursuant to the city zoning ordinances. If property is so zoned; livestock or fowl housing must be a minimum of 300 feet from any adjoining tract of land or property line. There is a limitation on number of livestock per acre. Unlawful to keep any swine in city limits. Section 4-14.
Animal Care. Sufficient food, clean water, adequate shelter, veterinarian care.No person other than a licensed veterinarian shall crop a dog's ears. The operator of any motor vehicle which strikes or injures a domesticated animal shall immediately report such incident to the animal control officer and the police. Section 4-16.
Sale of animals. Unlawful to sell, barter, trade, lease, give away, or otherwise convey ownership, of any live animal on any parking lot, right of way, roadside, garage sale, flea market, or other area generally accessed by the public within the city limits; except that any non-profit animal welfare group or the city conduct adoptions of animals. Section 4-18.
Wild; Wild-hybrid, vicious; and prohibited animals. No permitting of exotic animals. Any mammal, reptile, or fowl, of a non-domesticated nature; including but not limited to: wild animals that are introduced from another country or that are not native to the area.Section 4-19
Dangerous dogs. Requires registration, 2 photographs, spaying or neutering; micro-chipped, restraint by owner at all times either on a leash or a proper enclosure, obtain liability insurance ($100,000), notification upon moving residence, notify animal control immediately if dog is running at large. Section 4-20.